Exec renews contract for four years
John Weiser, president of distribution for Sony Pictures TV, has renewed his contract for four years.Sony’s syndication division, under Weiser’s guidance, has just outbid other major distributors to grab exclusive rights to a talkshow hosted by Oprah Winfrey protege Dr. Mehmet Oz. The series has the potential to lead the pack of rookie five-a-weekers in the 2009-10 season. Sony will co-produce “Dr. Oz” with Harpo Prods. and distribute the yakker. Weiser also ignited the trend toward pre-buys of theatrical movies by cable networks when he sold five pictures to FX four months ago. They include the forthcoming Judd Apatow-produced comedies “Step Brothers,” with Will Ferrell, and “Pineapple Express,” with Seth Rogen. In off-network syndication, Weiser has successfully steered “King of Queens” through its second cycle, lining up stations to carry it through 2016. Similarly, “Seinfeld” is in the middle of its lucrative third cycle in rerun syndication, under contract to stations until March 2011. Weiser is also in charge of movie sales in the pay-TV window, locking up an output deal with Starz into 2013 that will funnel an average of $6 million a title to Sony’s coffers. He also rides herd over the sale of movies to pay-per-view and keeps cable’s video-on-demand pipeline flowing with Sony movies and TV shows. Weiser joined Columbia Pictures TV Distribution (as Sony Pictures TV was then known) as a Los Angeles account exec in 1990. He became exec VP in 2002. Before joining Sony, Weiser was senior VP of Guber-Peters Entertainment.